Thomas Edison Kicklighter, 81, of Patterson, passed away early Saturday morning, January 2, 2021, at his residence.
Born in Blackshear March 9, 1939, he had lived in Patterson for the past 58 years. He was a 1957 graduate of Blackshear High School and had played on the football team. Following his high school graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he was stationed in Germany. After his service to his country, he went to work with the U.S. Postal service in Blackshear where he rode his bicycle 17 miles each day delivering the mail within the city. He would go on to retire in 1997 as a rural mail carrier. He served as the director of the Patterson Recreation Department for many years and has a field named in his honor. He had coached many youngsters over the years (he loved every minute of it) was always supporting his grandchildren in any sport they participated in and was mighty proud of the Pierce County Bears and their State Championship win. He served on the Patterson City Council, loved hunting and fishing, but spending time with his grandchildren brought him the most joy. He was a member of Patterson Baptist Church and had been in the Men’s Bible Class before volunteering with the Nursing Home Sunday school.
He was a son of the late Thomas Alvin and Willie Mae Peacock Kicklighter. He was also preceded in death by an infant brother.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Glenda Jo Smiley Kicklighter, Patterson; two daughters and a son-in-law, Tina Kicklighter and Dana and Rodney James, all of Blackshear; his son and daughter-in-law, Tommy and Wendy Kicklighter, Blackshear; a sister, Patsy (Buddy) Manning Coulby, Jesup; four brothers, the Rev. Kenneth (Iris) Kicklighter, Ashburn, Dewey (Mary) Kicklighter, Jacksonville, FL and Donald Kicklighter and A. C. (Mary) Kicklighter, all of Blackshear; six grandchildren, Bree Kicklighter, Emmett James, Kole Kicklighter, JoHannah James, Kamden Kicklighter and Kingston Kicklighter; a great-granddaughter, Ryder Manders and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 5, from the Patterson Baptist Church.
Interment will be in the Kicklighter Family Cemetery and will be private.
Due to COVID-19, the family has decided to err on the side of caution and not have a visitation. Social distancing guidelines as well as the use of facemasks is required. Please refrain from hugging, shaking hands or any other physical contact.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.